for this game

Casto's blast lifts Nationals over Mariners

Jun 16, 2008 - 12:58 AM By Paul Lowenberg PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SEATTLE (Ticker) -- Kory Casto hit his first major league home run - a three-run, pinch-hit blast in the eighth inning - to help the Washington Nationals to a 6-2 victory and a three-game sweep of their interleague series with the Seattle Mariners on Sunday.

It was the Nationals' first three-game series sweep of the year and the Mariners' seventh consecutive home loss, their longest such streak since 1996.

Aaron Boone doubled to start the eighth and slid safely into third when reliever Mark Lowe (1-3) threw Felipe Lopez's sacrifice bunt attempt high. Kasto then drilled Lowe's 0-1 pitch down the right field line, just grazing the foul pole to give Washington a 5-2 lead.

The rookie from nearby Salem, Oregon, was recalled earlier this month and had friends and family, including his father, Scott, in the stands.

"I got a fastball elevated over the plate and I put a good swing on it and it barely hung on, but it hung on enough," Casto said. "That's pretty awesome thing, first one of my career on Father's Day, and it's a go-ahead-for-the-sweep home run, so that's a big deal."

The fair call brought a chorus of boos from the crowd of 38,548, who thought the ball went foul.

But afterwards, the Mariners players agreed that the umpires decision was the correct one.

Nationals manager Manny Acta admitted he was delighted for his 26-year-old rookie outfielder, who grew up a Mariners fan.

"Today was just perfect for him," Acta said. "It was a situation where he could have had success, even if he didn't hit a home run, just driving in that run and to do it in front of his parents. I'm happy for him."

Elijah Dukes singled, stole second and took third on catcher Kenji Johjima's throwing error before scoring on Lasting Milledge's sacrifice fly to cap the four-run outburst.

The big inning made a winner of reliever Jesus Colome (2-1), who pitched two innings to earn the decision.

"We're still trying to get our offense going," Mariners manager John McLaren said following his club's first sweep at home by a National League opponent since interleague play began in 1997. "It's an ongoing process. We're working hard. It just hasn't happened yet. The capabilities are there and for some reason we just haven't done it. It's tough to figure out."

The Mariners are 10-21 over their last 31 games, and have the worst record in the major leagues at 24-45.

The Nationals tied the game 2-2 in the seventh when Seattle lefthander Jarrod Washburn, seeking his first win since April 9, departed after issuing a leadoff double by Cristian Guzman and walking Dukes.

Milledge greeted Lowe with an infield hit off the pitcher's leg to load the bases. Jesus Flores then hit his second run-scoring ground out of the game to tie the score before Lowe caught Ronnie Belliard looking at strike three to end the threat.

Washburn was charged with two runs on eight hits with two strikeouts and a season-high four walks.

After the game, Washburn was not shy about expressing his frustration with the way the team has played.

"It's been terrible," Washburn said. "We find a different way to lose every night. We're just not good. We're not playing good baseball and we haven't shown any signs of turning it around. It's frustrating. It's embarrassing.

"They (the fans) have every right to boo. We've been bad, we should be booed. We can't keep playing as bad as we have. I don't think it's possible to play this bad for the rest of the year."

Nationals starter Tim Redding, who has a string of five consecutive no-decisions since his last victory on May 19, lasted six innings, surrendering only five hits and two runs - one earned - while walking two and fanning two.

Ichiro Suzuki extended his interleague hitting streak to 26 games when he singled home Willie Bloomquist from second base to give Seattle a 2-1 advantage in the fourth.








  • ML
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    WASHINGTON 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 0 6 12 3
    SEATTLE 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 8 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: WAS - TIM REDDING, JESUS COLOME (7TH), JOEL HANRAHAN (9TH) AND JESUS
    FLORES
    SEA - JARROD WASHBURN, MARK LOWE (7TH), ROY CORCORAN
    (9TH) AND KENJI JOHJIMA

    HOME RUN

    Jun 15 7:03 PM


  • ML
    AT SEATTLE - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY LASTINGS MILLEDGE SCORED ELIJAH DUKES.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 6
    SEATTLE 2 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: D YOUNG (.278, 0-FOR-3, BB)

    Nationals 6, Mariners 2  Top 8, 0 OutsJun 15 6:47 PM


  • ML
    AT SEATTLE - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY KORY CASTO (1) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 8TH OFF MARK LOWE SCORED AARON BOONE AND FELIPE LOPEZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 5, SEATTLE 2
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: C GUZMAN (.312, 2-FOR-4)

    Nationals 5, Mariners 2  Top 8, 0 OutsJun 15 6:35 PM


  • ML
    AT SEATTLE - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY JESUS FLORES SCORED CRISTIAN GUZMAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, L MILLEDGE ON SECOND, E DUKES ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 2
    SEATTLE 2 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: R BELLIARD (.236, 1-FOR-3)

    Nationals 2, Mariners 2  Top 7, 0 OutsJun 15 6:15 PM
  • 5
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Nationals 1, Mariners 2  Top 5, 0 OutsJun 15 5:31 PM


  • ML
    AT SEATTLE - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ICHIRO SUZUKI SCORED WILLIE BLOOMQUIST.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, 0 LEFT ON, 3 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 1
    SEATTLE 2 END BOTTOM, 4TH

    Nationals 1, Mariners 2  Bot 4, 0 OutsJun 15 5:25 PM


  • ML
    AT SEATTLE - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY ELIJAH DUKES ALLOWED JOSE LOPEZ TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J VIDRO ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 1
    SEATTLE 1 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: K JOHJIMA (.229, 0-FOR-1)

    Nationals 1, Mariners 1  Bot 3, 0 OutsJun 15 5:07 PM


  • ML
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    WASHINGTON 1 1 1 0
    SEATTLE 0 0 0 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: WAS - TIM REDDING
    SEA - JARROD WASHBURN

    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: I SUZUKI (.293, 3 HR, 17 RBI)
    J LOPEZ (.295, 5 HR, 33 RBI)
    R IBANEZ (.263, 8 HR, 41 RBI)

    Nationals 1, Mariners 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsJun 15 4:20 PM